Under Your Radar: Ar nosurge: Ode to an Unborn Star


To the Songless Hill – Harmonics Pre=Ciel – by Akiko Shikata
Lyrics are in two fictional languages in addition to Japanese. A translation and a summary of the translation can be found here.

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Ar nosurge CoverIt’s time for Under Your Radar! Today, we’ll be covering a PS3 game named Ar nosurge: Ode to an Unborn Star, released in Japan as Surge Concerto: Ar nosurge ~A Song that Prays for a Planet Being Born~ (~Umareizuru Hoshi e Inoru Uta~). This game has an updated Vita port in Japan.

It is the second part of the Surge Concerto duology, the previous game being the Japan-only Vita game Surge Concerto: Ciel nosurge. Furthermore, this game is a distant prequel to the Ar tonelico series, taking place 1000 years prior to the PS2 game Ar tonelico: Melody of Elemia. It was developed by Gust and published by Koei-Tecmo in all regions.

As a side-note, this game launched with a terrible translation that had conversations split between NPCs, young ladies referring to themselves as old men, and most proper nouns having 2-3 spellings used consecutively. This was all fixed in a patch a few months later. Continue reading

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Under Your Radar: Ar tonelico Qoga: Knell of Ar Ciel


Singing Hill – Harmonics TYRIA – by Akiko Shikata
Lyrics are in multiple combined languages. A translation can be found here.

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Ar tonelico Qoga CoverWelp. This isn’t gonna end well. Today’s Under Your Radar is Ar tonelico Qoga: Knell of Ar Ciel. To preempt anyone wondering what that means, all but “Knell of” is written in romanized Hymnos, which is a language created for the purpose of this series. To simplify greatly, it means “Yggdrasil Finale: The Chime That Signals the End of the World”. The Japanese title is much simpler, being Ar tonelico III: Sekai Shūen no Hikigane wa Shōjo no Uta ga Hiku (lit. “Ar tonelico III: The Girl’s Song that Pulls the Trigger of World’s Demise”). Continue reading

Under Your Radar: Atelier Rorona Plus ~The Alchemist of Arland~


Falling, The Star Light by Mineko Yamamoto

The star that shines to you
Leading to a faraway, endless future
Sparkling
As the stars shower down

If inside of my heart
Magic is sleeping
I wonder what I would grant
My dreams overflow

The fog that mists you
Inside of a faraway opening in your memory
Makes a grieving commotion
But a light shines and leads you the way
The treasure you lost
During your childhood
I want to hurry and send it to you
Dreams are limitless

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Atelier Rorona Plus CoverSo much Atelier, so little time! Today, I will be covering Atelier Rorona Plus ~The Alchemist of Arland~ for PS3 and Vita, which was released just last month in English. It was released in Japan as New Atelier Rorona: The Origin Story ~The Alchemist of Arland~ (Shin Rorona no Atelier: Hajimari no Monogatari ~Ārando no Renkinjutsushi~) last November.

Unlike the Vita ports of other Atelier games I’ve covered, this is a full remake of the 2009/2010 PS3 title Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland (Rorona no Atorie ~Aarando no Renkinjutsushi~), which is the 11th Atelier game, and the first game in the Arland trilogy (before Totori and Meruru). It’s a full remake because the original Rorona sticks out like a sore thumb next to its two sequels. This is why it was also released on PS3 instead of just Vita (though only the PS3 version got a physical release outside of Japan), and why I specified this version in the title of this post. I played the Vita version.

As a fun fact before I proceed, this is actually the final game published by Koei-Tecmo America and Koei-Tecmo Europe before they swapped their name order back around from Tecmo-Koei outside Japan. Continue reading

Under Your Radar: Atelier Escha & Logy ~Alchemists of the Dusk Sky~


Milk-Iro no Tōge (Milk-Coloured Mountain Pass) by Chirinuruwowaka

During winter, the mountain pass is dyed in a milky-colour
But spring still comes without worry

It still won’t wither
This thing that grows in your chest
Can no longer be stopped

The unexpected miracle has already started
It will come true for everyone

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Atelier Escha & Logy CoverCovering another Atelier game so soon? Yup. Today’s Under Your Radar is Atelier Escha & Logy ~Alchemists of the Dusk Sky~, the 15th and most recent game of the mainline Atelier series, the 22nd counting all spin-offs (but not ports or remakes), and the 5th one on PS3.

It is the second entry in the Dusk sub-series, taking place a year after the conclusion of Atelier Ayesha ~The Alchemist of Dusk~ (released in Japan as Atelier Ayesha ~The Alchemist of the Land of Dusk~), and is followed by the upcoming Atelier Shallie ~Alchemists of the Dusk Sea~. This was also the first Atelier game to receive an anime adaptation, which is currently running and I will cover at a later date.

Atelier Escha & Logy Artwork

The game is named after Eschatology, the study of the end of the world. The reference doesn’t make sense in English unless you realize that the word for “and” in Japan is “to”.

I have previously covered Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland, Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland and Atelier Ayesha ~The Alchemist of Dusk~. I’ve also played the PSP port of Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis on my Vita. I will be referring to these titles over the course of the review, but I’ll explain myself as best I can in those instances, so there is no required reading. Continue reading

Under Your Radar: Atelier Ayesha ~The Alchemist of Dusk~


Hanashirube (Flower Marks) by Mutsumi Nomiyama

As your hand slipped out of my grasp,
A sweet, nostalgic wind blew past me
I’m being led to a small, freshly-bloomed flower bed
I begin walking…

I’ll go to that faraway place
I’ll go to where you’re waiting

Our promise begins

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Atelier Ayesha PosterI’d wanted to write this for yesterday, but no matter. Today’s Under Your Radar is Atelier Ayesha ~The Alchemist of Dusk~ (Atelier Ayesha ~Alchemist of the Land of Dusk~ in Japan). It is the 14th game of the Atelier series, and the first title of the Dusk sub-series, which was followed-up by Atelier Escha & Logy ~Alchemists of the Dusk Sky~ and the upcoming Atelier Shallie ~Alchemists of the Dusk Sea~.

It was also the first game of the series to be localized since Tecmo-Koei bought out developer GUST. As such, Tecmo-Koei USA and Tecmo-Koei Europe took over publishing in the West at the last minute using a localization NIS America had already mostly completed… but excluded the Japanese voice track for the first and only time in the series.

Continue reading